A man who ran a Pasadena/Altadena-based boot camp for youths pleaded no contest this week to sexually assaulting a pair of 14-year-old girls in 2004 and unrelated charges stemming from an extortion case involving a teenage truant. A Jan. 21 sentencing date was set for Kelvin Bernard McFarland, 43, of Monrovia, who remains jailed in lieu of a $475,000 bond. Prosecutors said the girls were assaulted in March and December 2004, resulting in five felony charges that included sexual penetration by a foreign object, forcible rape, oral copulation of a person under 16, committing a lewd act on a child and unlawful sexual intercourse.
McFarland pleaded no contest to all except the rape charge, which was then dismissed by Judge Suzette Clover. In the other case, McFarland, known by local youths as “Sarge,” was charged with child abuse, kidnapping, false imprisonment by violence and extortion, along with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a badge, for handcuffing a truant and taking the girl to a relative’s house and demanding money. McFarland pleaded no contest to all charges in the extortion case.
According to police and prosecutors, McFarland used the badge to try and persuade the family of a 14-year-old girl to enroll her in his “Family 1st Growth Camp,” threatening that she could otherwise be sent to a juvenile detention center. Police said they believed McFarland may have extorted money from other parents in the same manner. Both pleas were entered without negotiation with the District Attorney’s Office.